It is July and it is time for more Durians! This time we ventured further north, all the way to Malacca.
Information on the whereabouts of Durians, whether Durian orchards or stalls selling Durian are scarce as ever. My first target location was an organic Durian orchard near Batu Pahat. Believe it or not, I managed to determine the location of this place based on the markings on a lamppost. No other clues were given except the name of the road and a photo of the roadside. The photo carried the caption “very easy to find us”. Yeah, right.
Undeterred, I started searching using Google Street View, traversing the road, Jalan Sungai Suloh, where they’re said to be located. I found a patch of land that looked promising, and upon comparing the markings on the lamppost, to my amazement, they were a match!
The GPS coordinates are 1.788013, 102.917258, in case you’re interested. No contact number was provided on the Facebook page, but I took a chance anyway and set out towards this Durian orchard after breakfast. We came across a scenic view at Sungai Senggarang.
Coincidentally, the owner of the Durian orchard was around when we arrived. He was very friendly and chatty! Mr Lim told us the Durians will only be ready in August, and he was willing to sell to walk-in Durian lovers like us. He told us a lot about Durians, like how they should be consumed within 6 hours after being harvested, or up to 12 hours for Mao Shan Wang. He also said the hot weather has badly affected Durian production this year. He enlightened us to the fact that, contrary to popular belief, Durians from Pahang isn’t better. We were given a dose of history about the original Mao Shan Wang Durian tree, which he said would have be over 60 years old by now but had already died from being struck by lightning. He told us that Durian growers typically use a lot of chemical fertilizers, but instead, at his organic orchard, he uses only dried fish as fertilizer. Anyway, we were already feeling the itch to be back in August!
Since plan A didn’t work out, we went for plan B. The only place mentioned online selling Durians in Batu Pahat was known as Roundabout fruit stall. There were 2 stalls selling Durians here. We randomly chose the second stall since we drove past the first.
Pricing wise, it was definitely cheaper than in Johor Bahru. D101 was at RM25 per kg, while Tekka was RM32 per kg. We had Tekka for RM40 just two weeks ago in Gelang Patah. When inquired about Mao Shan Wang, we were told they stopped bringing it in because the supply was short, and the price was driven up to close to RM70 per kg. We were able to eat the Durians in the shed itself, and the Durians were awesome, especially the Tekka.
With our Durian cravings satisfied, we went to Rengit Coffee, since having Durians alone for lunch didn’t quite feel complete. The entire region around Batu Pahat and Muar produce coffee beans known as Elephant beans.
I bought a packet of the higher grade Rengit white coffee from Rengit Coffee itself, and later i managed to grab another packet of fresh ground coffee (i was told it was brought in that very morning) from a Kopitiam at the main Pasar (Jalan Ibrahim) in Batu Pahat. I guess Rengit coffee is really quite different from the ones produced in Kluang. It is less strong, but very fragrant.
The drive to Malacca took us through countless “Parit” or canals, which is how Kampungs around here are named, and past Muar. There are supposedly Durian orchards near Muar as well, but again, no GPS coordinates can be found online. The thing about Durian orchards is that you’ll have to make prior arrangement with the orchard owner, and usually they prefer to take in a large group rather than individuals. Anyhow, I didn’t notice any Durian stalls along the way also. I’m guessing that Durians are priced out of reach of the locals.
I chose Tong Sheng Garden as our dinner place, as it was walking distance from our hotel. It took an hour from the time we started queuing for a table to the time the first dish was placed on the table. Though the wait was a little unpleasant, it helped in giving us time to get over the feeling of replete from the Durians.
As this was the first time we were here, we ordered all the signature dishes, except crabs.
I guess the problem with this fantastic meal was, the portion was too much for us two adults and two kids! We will certainly be back. It’s no wonder that it was packed with locals.
The must-eat place when we are in Malacca is the chicken rice from Chung Wah. We have been coming here since seven years ago probably. If you’re here before 12pm on a weekday, the queuing time is less than half an hour. Although locals mostly shun this place, we didn’t want to risk any disappointment with the other choices said to be the preference of locals.
Chendol is also a popular item in Malacca. I guess most people just go for the one at San Shu Gong, across the road from Chung Wah, but being very commercialized, it didn’t appeal to me. Kappan House, which i just read about the night before, is only around the corner from Chung Wah.
“Do” was very interested in taking a boat ride, so we went for the river cruise. This was a good way to kill time before we make our way to Tangkak for Durians.
Though the area around Tangkak produce Durian, they are not sold in Tangkak town itself. I found out from a fruit seller that there is someone who “collects and sells” Durians, but only in the morning. There is, however, a Durian stall that stays open most of the day, outside of town and near the North South highway (GPS 2.251815, 102.531922).
The best Durians were already sold out when we got there. We tried one of each of the RM22 per kg and the RM32 per kg Durians.
We had to eat the Durians very quickly, because there were too many flies around! I wouldn’t recommend having Durians here, though it is probably the most easily accessible Durian stall along the North-South highway.
I had vowed to be back to the Sutera Utama area after the recent Durian trip, and so i did. Union Fashion Bar was a nice place to grab a drink.
Guess what was for dinner? Durians of course. The third and final installation had to be good. We chose Ang & Chuan because they serve top quality Durians, nevermind if they cost a little more. We were here mostly to try the fabled Black Thorn variety.
We were again having the feeling that Durians alone didn’t quite make a complete meal, so we headed to Wee Wee Food Court for a bit more food. You’re spoilt with choice here, and i can’t really recommend any of the stalls since i didn’t try the “signature” stalls, such as the hot plate noodles stall, which seem quite popular.
One last meal in Sutera Utama and we’d be done for the trip. Ah Hong Kopitiam was a busy place, and after sampling the food, i can understand why.